Members of the European Parliament voted 408-254 to approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada.

Members of the European Parliament voted 408-254 to approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada.
Photo Credit: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

EU approves trade deal with Canada

After years of negotiation and noisy debate today the European Parliament voted to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. That sets the stage for 90 per cent of the agreement to be applied once the Canadian Parliament follows suit in the next few months. This could occur as early as April 1.

At their meeting on Feb. 13, 2017 U.S. President Donald Trump (right) gave vague reassurances to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about changes to their trade.
At their meeting on Feb. 13, 2017 U.S. President Donald Trump (right) gave vague reassurances to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about changes to their trade. © Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Deal counters U.S. protectionism

The agreement is especially important to Canada given the uncertainty about how U.S. President Donald Trump intends to change the trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Although Trump made some reassuring noises this week that his target was mostly Mexico, he did say that the agreement with Canada would be “tweaked.” It is not at all clear what that means.

As it now stands, there is 2.5 billion dollars’ worth of trade between the two countries daily and 75 per cent of Canada’s exports are shipped to the U.S. Any barriers to trade between the two countries would have a huge impact on Canada’s economy.

Deal said to set ‘highest progressive standards’

“President Trump has given us another good reason to intensify our links with Canada — while Trump introduces tariffs, we are not  only tearing them down but also setting the highest progressive standards,” said Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe reports Canadian Press.

Demonstrators protest the Canada-EU trade agreement in Strasbourg, France, the seat of the European Parliament.
Demonstrators protest the Canada-EU trade agreement in Strasbourg, France, the seat of the European Parliament. © Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Fear of CETA demonstrated

Demonstrators outside the European Parliament protested the agreement and there are Canadian groups opposed as well.  There is fear that the deal is a threat to countries’ sovereignty and that it would allow U.S. subsidiaries that operate in Canada to sue the governments of EU member states.

CETA is a comprehensive deal that drops tariffs and grants new market access for many products including agricultural commodities. It also will allow European interests to bid on Canadian government contracts and it harmonizes labour and environmental standards.

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Posted in Economy, International, Politics

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2 comments on “EU approves trade deal with Canada
  1. ursula wagner says:

    http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2016/10/21/canada-eu-trade-talks-collapse-in-wallonia-as-profoundly-disappointed-freeland-walks-out/
    out of it….
    Fighting back tears, Freeland said she had worked very hard to secure the deal but realizes now that it won’t happen.

    Not that is realy important, but interesting to know…..
    we now know, because she herself admitted it in Washington, that her tears were played, false, to put pressure on Wallonia.

    unfortunately only found in German, but “Der Spiegel” is a political magazin one
    can trust

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/ceta-aussenministerin-von-kanada-prahlt-mit-gespielten-traenen-a-1134008.html….
    she boasts about her “played” trears….

    Jetzt aber drohen sich Misstöne in den Besuch zu mischen – denn Kanadas Außenministerin Chrystia Freeland hat offenherzig verraten, wie sie in den Verhandlungen mit den Europäern ihre Schauspielkünste eingesetzt hat.

    Here one is not “amused”

  2. ursula wagner says:

    The EU as she exists now, hopefully will be history in the near future,
    strong signals all over give us hope.